Rafael Nadal fought back from a set down to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas and keep himself in the ATP Finals.
The first set was a tight affair with the serve dominating and it unsurprisingly went to a tiebreak where Nadal was made to pay for a couple of loose points and Tsitsipas served out the set with an ace.
Nadal brought up the first break point opportunities of the match early in the second set and Tsitsipas stayed resolute until the world No 1 finally broke through in the ninth game and then held serve to force a third set.
In the final set, both players brought their best tennis to the match as they went toe-to-toe but in the 11th game, Nadal broke through again and then held his own serve to win 6-7 6-4 7-5 and he must now hope Daniil Medvedev beats Alexander Zverev this evening to create a match with Roger Federer on Saturday afternoon.
Rafael Nadal beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in three sets (Image: GETTY)
RAFAEL NADAL VS STEFANOS TSITSIPAS AS IT HAPPENED
THIRD SET (*denotes server)
*NADAL 6-7 6-4 7-5 TSITSIPAS
Tsitsipas return long, confirmed by Hawkeye. 15-0. Tsitsipas return winner. Big Nadal serve, 30-15. Big Nadal forehand draws the error from Tsitsipas. Two match points.
Defensive Tsitsipas forehand into the net. GAME. SET. MATCH NADAL.
NADAL 6-7 6-4 6-5 TSITSIPAS*
Tsitsipas double fault, 30-15. Nadal forehand winner up the line, 30-30. OH MY. Incredible Nadal forehand winner up the line. Break point.
Big serve followed by a big forehand from Tsitsipas. Brave tennis. Deuce. Tsitsipas backhand into the net. Second break point.
Nadal passing shot and Tsitsipas’ volley is wide. Nadal BREAKS. He will serve for the match next.
*NADAL 6-7 6-4 5-5 TSITSIPAS
Nadal forehand long, 15-15. Tsitsipas mis-hits a forehand, 30-15.
Nadal is really enjoying himself at the net today and another nice volley draws the error from Tsitsipas.
NADAL 6-7 6-4 4-5 TSITSIPAS*
Tsitsipas forehand winner, 40-0. Nadal backhand return into the net. On we go in this third set. Two hours and 35 minutes this match so far.
*NADAL 6-7 6-4 4-4 TSITSIPAS
Nadal forehand winner, 30-15. Tsitsipas forehand winner, 30-30. Great hustle from Tsitsipas but Nadal is too good at the net with a clutch volley.
Nadal holds with a forehand winner.
NADAL 6-7 6-4 3-4 TSITSIPAS*
Boom. Nadal opens the game with a return winner that Tsitsipas doesn’t even move for. But credit to the Greek, he moves to 40-15.
Nadal attacks the net and finishes with a volley. More big groundstrokes from Nadal get the error from Tsitsipas. Deuce.
Tsitsipas tries to serve and volley but is passed by Nadal’s backhand return. 134mph first serve is too hot for Nadal.
Gusty tennis from Tsitsipas to hold once again.
*NADAL 6-7 6-4 3-3 TSITSIPAS
Nadal forehand long, 0-30. Tsitsipas hasn’t been in this position many times. Nadal forehand winner. Tsitsipas backhand into the net, 30-all.
Gorgeous Nadal drop volley. And he holds again.
NADAL 6-7 6-4 2-3 TSITSIPAS*
Brutal groundstrokes from Nadal and he finishes off the point with a smash winner, 0-30.
Big fist pump from Nadal as he attacks the net and finishes with a volley winner. Two break points. Tsitsipas ace. Good approach from Tsitsipas and he makes the volley. Deuce.
Massive hold by the Greek as he drills a forehand winner.
*NADAL 6-7 6-4 2-2 TSITSIPAS
Easy hold again for Nadal. Tsitsipas has not returned well at all today.
NADAL 6-7 6-4 1-2 TSITSIPAS*
Error strewn game from Tsitsipas and he drags a forehand wide, deuce.
But he comes through another service game with some serve and volley.
*NADAL 6-7 6-4 1-1 TSITSIPAS
Nadal double faults, 40-30 but responds with a big serve that gets the error from Tsitsipas.
NADAL 6-7 6-4 0-1 TSITSIPAS*
Nadal forehand into the net, 30-30. Tsitsipas ace to win the game and make an ideal start to the set.
*NADAL 6-7 6-4 TSITSIPAS
Tsitsipas’ defensive forehand is long on the opening point. Tsitsipas backhand long, 30-0. Three set points. Nadal misses a straight forward volley then goes long with a forehand.
But he gets the job done when Tsitsipas’ return flies long. GAME ON!
NADAL 6-7 5-4 TSITSIPAS*
Nadal smash winner, 30-40. Big fist pump from the world No 1. Break point. Tsitsipas forehand wide. Nadal breaks.
*NADAL 6-7 4-4 TSITSIPAS
Nadal backhand winner, 15-15. Nadal volley winner, 30-15. Nadal continues to hold comfortably.
NADAL 6-7 3-4 TSITSIPAS*
Another opening for Nadal as he drills a forehand up the line, 0-30. Good fightback from Tsitsipas to get to 40-30. Nadal volley is too good for Tsitsipas, deuce.
Tsitsipas backhand mis-hit. Break point Nadal. Big serve down the Greek. And he comes through again.
*NADAL 6-7 3-3 TSITSIPAS
Nadal holds to 15. The Spaniard cranking up the power with a 128mph first serve. Doesn’t usually get that high.
NADAL 6-7 2-3 TSITSIPAS*
BANG! Nadal crushes back-to-back forehand winners. 15-30. Tsitsipas double fault. Two break points. Tsitsipas forehand winner. Nadal forehand into the net. Deuce.
Serve and volley winner from Tsitsipas. Big hold!
*NADAL 6-7 2-2 TSITSIPAS
Nadal cross court forehand catches the line for a winner. Classic Nadal wide serve, 40-15. And an ace seals the game. Still no break points in the match so far.
NADAL 6-7 1-2 TSITSIPAS*
Tsitsipas smash winner, 40-15. And another ace to finish. Very impressive serving from the Greek.
*NADAL 6-7 1-1 TSITSIPAS
Good response from Nadal as he holds to love.
NADAL 6-7 0-1 TSITSIPAS*
Nadal backhand into the net, 30-15. Cheeky dropshot winner from Tsitsipas and then ace. The Greek is flying right now.
Rafael Nadal hits a forehand (Image: GETTY)
NADAL 6-7 TSITSIPAS – TIEBREAK
Nadal forehand long, 0-1. Nadal forehand winner, 1-1. Nadal return into the net, 1-2. Serve and volley winner from Nadal, 2-2. Nadal forehand into the net, 2-3.
Nadal backhand long, 2-4. Tsitsipas forehand into the net, 3-4. Tsitsipas defensive forehand into the net, 4-4. Nadal backhand into the net, 4-5.
Nadal lob is called out and Hawkeye confirms it, 4-6. Tsitsipas ace, 4-7.
NADAL 6-6 TSITSIPAS*
Vintage Nadal forehand winner down the line on the run, 15-15. Big Tsitsipas serve, 40-15. And an ace to finish. Tiebreak time.
*NADAL 6-5 TSITSIPAS
Serve remains the dominant factor in this match as Nadal books himself at least a tiebreak.
NADAL 5-5 TSITSIPAS*
Quickfire service game from the youngest man in the tournament. Finishing off with a forehand winner that Nadal barely moves for.
*NADAL 5-4 TSITSIPAS
Tsitsipas goes at Nadal at the net but the Spaniard stays strong and wins the point. Big fist pump. Nadal smash winner.
Tsitsipas’ forehand is just wide, 40-15. Nadal holds.
NADAL 4-4 TSITSIPAS*
Good aggressive tennis from Nadal and he finishes off the point at the net, 15-15. Tsitsipas forehand into the net, 15-30.
Lovely feel at the net again from Tsitspas, 40-30. Tsitsipas backhand into the net. Deuce. The Greek is really enjoying himself at the net, another backhand volley winner. And he comes through when Nadal nets a defensive backhand. Still on serve.
*NADAL 4-3 TSITSIPAS
Back-to-back love holds for Nadal. Looking comfortable on serve so far.
Stefanos Tsitsipas won the first set in a tiebreak (Image: GETTY)
NADAL 3-3 TSITSIPAS*
Nice touch at the net by Tsitsipas after Nadal’s backhand return came right at his feet. Back-to-back ace for the Greek to hold serve again.
*NADAL 3-2 TSITSIPAS
Nadal races to 40-0. Tsitsipas catches him out with deep forehand return. But a big wide serve gets the job done.
NADAL 2-2 TSITSIPAS*
Efficient service game from Tsitsipas as he holds to love.
*NADAL 2-1 TSITSIPAS
Nadal double faults on the opening point. Huge Tsitsipas backhand shank into the air, 30-15.
Tsitsipas’ approach shot isn’t good enough and Nadal punishes him with a backhand pass. Serve and volley from Nadal to hold.
NADAL 1-1 TSITSIPAS*
Nadal forehand long, 40-15. Tsitsipas goes for too much on the forehand, 40-30. And he then pulls a forehand wide, deuce.
Nicely played by Tsitsipas as he serve and volleys. And he holds when his short angled backhand catches out Nadal.
*NADAL 1-0 TSITSIPAS
Nadal double fault, 15-30. Followed by an ace. And he holds when Tsitsipas nets a forehand return.
14:02: The players are out on court and receive huge ovations from the crowd.
13:55: Tsitsipas is the only player yet to lose a match in the tournament but he has only beaten Nadal once in their five matches
13:50: Here are the semi-final scenarios:
1) Zverev advances to the SFs IF he defeats Medvedev
2) Zverev advances to the SFs IF he loses to Medvedev in three sets, AND Tsitsipas defeats Nadal
3) Nadal advances to the SFs IF he defeats Tsitsipas AND Medvedev defeats Zverev
4) Medvedev advances to the SFs IF he defeats Zverev in 2 sets AND Tsitsipas defeats Nadal
13:40: Twenty minutes away from the first singles match of the day between Nadal and Tsitsipas.
The last semi-final spot in the Nitto ATP Finals will be decided between Nadal, Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev, who is the defending champion.
Tsitsipas has already qualified into the semi-finals by winning his first two matches in Group Andre Agassi.
13:30: Hello and welcome to LIVE coverage of Rafael Nadal’s round-robin clash against Stefanos Tsitsipas at the ATP Finals.